Eric Sammut’s Ameline, for solo marimba, has been adapted to a duo format for marimba and vibraphone. This work is full of split, syncopated rhythms divided between the two instruments.
Based on the composer’s marimba solo of the same name, “Ameline” has been adapted for vibraphone and marimba. Even those unfamiliar with the original work will recognize Eric Sammut’s trademark sound of groove-based rhythms and combination of classical and jazz harmonies. The piece comes with two spirtal-bound scores, one with the vibraphone part (and smaller-print marimba part) and the other with the marimba part (and smaller-print vibraphone part). While this type of printing is a tremendous aid for the players, the fact that none of the parts stop long enough to facilitate page turning will necessitate either a creative “cut and paste” rearrangement of the score or memorization.
The vibraphone voice, despite carrying most of the melody, is the easier of the two parts and only requires two mallets. The marimba part requires four mallets and provides accompanying rhythms in the same hocket texture seen in the original piece. All the writing is idiomatic and fits well on the instruments. The right hand on the marimba part even doubles the rhythm of the vibraphone part for much of the piece, making ensemble playing (especially in 7/8 time) more intuitive. Not an exact transcription of the original, Sammut uses the additional resources of a second instrument to provide richer harmonies, and a middle section that features a three-note hemiola in the marimba (another carry-over from the original) is highlighted by counterpoint in the vibraphone.
This duet would be appropriate for intermediate undergraduate or even more advanced performers looking to program a piece with the signature audience-friendly quality for which Eric Sammut is known.
— Jason Baker, Percussive Notes — July 2017